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Alaafin: Stop Makinde from sacking us, Oyo kingmakers beg court


MAKINDEThe kingmakers in Oyo town, otherwise known as the Oyomesi in Council, have filed a suit seeking to restrain  the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, from removing and replacing them amid the struggle to select the next occupant of the revered Alaafin of Oyo stool.

The suit marked HOY/38/2023 before the Oyo State High Court in Oyo has as claimants, five kingmakers, who are also seeking a court injunction to restrain the governor and his agents “from aborting the  process for the selection/appointment of the candidate for filling the vacant stool of Alaafin of Oyo duly conducted by the kingmakers of Alaafin of Oyo Chieftaincy.”

The kingmakers, who filed the suit, are the Bashorun of Oyo, High Chief Yusuf Layinka; Lagunna of Oyo, High Chief Wakeel Oyedepo; Akinniku of Oyo, High Chief Amusa Yusuf; Areago Bashorun, Chief Wahab Oyetunji; and the Alapo of Oyo, Chief Gbadebo Mufutau.

Apart from Makinde, also listed as defendants in the suit were the Oyo State Attorney General; and the state’s Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

The kingmakers explained that they had at a meeting on September 30, 2023, unanimously selected Prince Lukuman Gbadegesin as the next Alaafin of Oyo to fill the ancient stool, which has become vacant since April last year, following the passing of Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who was the 45th Alaafin of Oyo.

The kingmakers are praying the court to restrain the Oyo State governor and his agents from nullifying the choice of Gbadegesin and “approving or recognising any other candidate” as the next Alaafin “after a duly conducted process for the filling of the vacant stool of Alaafin of Oyo in accordance with the native law, custom and Chieftaincy Declaration of Alaafin of Oyo Chieftaincy.”

The kingmakers also want the court to restrain the governor and the other defendants from removing them as Oyo kingmakers or “dissolving the Oyomesi in Council or appointing or selecting warrant chiefs to conduct or start a fresh process for the filling of the vacant stool of Alaafin of Oyo.”

They want the court to stop the defendants from “harassing, disturbing, preventing or stopping the claimants from carrying on their traditional functions and responsibilities as kingmakers of Alaafin of Oyo Chieftaincy.”

The PUNCH had reported that some of the Oyo kingmakers were on October 18 grilled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over allegations of bribery in relation to the selection of the next Alaafin.

It was gathered that the petitioner alleged that the kingmakers collected bribes running into millions of naira to favour a particular candidate, hence the decision of EFCC to summon them for questioning.

It was learnt that the kingmakers who honoured the EFCC invitation were accompanied by their lawyers and were asked to write statements, after which they were allowed to go.

The Samu of Oyo town, High Chief Lamidi Oyewale, who was contacted by The PUNCH, confirmed the invitation by the EFCC, saying, “Yes, we were invited. We have gone and come back.”

There is no hearing date yet for the fresh suit filed by the kingmakers.

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